Author Topic: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?  (Read 17840 times)

spartana

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #200 on: January 21, 2017, 09:42:13 AM »
Deborah I totally agree peoplr should have a back up plan and/or the money to make any changes if they want to be able to settle down somewhere or go back "home". Especially if home is in a HCOL that you may be priced out of after years away.

Agreed.

As I've posted before:
We also liked the concept of ERing overseas, in a cheaper COL country, but having seen people do this and get "stuck" when they don't want to live there anymore, but don't have enough to live back at home, we decided to wait to ER until we could support the lifestyle where we wanted to live in the States.

Once we hit that, we started traveling full time, and may settle in a low COL area, but we won't ever be "stuck" there if we decide we don't like it.

(It does come with the tradeoff of having to work longer--had we wanted to ER on a budget like she was talking, we could have done it at least 5 years sooner, I'm sure, but we enjoyed our jobs at the time.)

(I've posted similar sentiments elsewhere, too, that was the first one pulled up by a search.)

It's 100% something to consider.  If you go in with enough money to go back OR with the mindset that if you enjoy a few years overseas, then decide you want a higher COL and decide to go back to work, that's not the end of the world, then it's all good.  Just don't expect a new situation to be perfect, and have flexibility in being able to change it (via money or life-hours).
Oh yeah I remember that thread where lots of people knew someone who ended up moving to a LCOL country on a very low FIRE income and were then unable to afford to move to a HCOL country or area as they aged. OK if you're still young enough to find a job but I wouldn't want to find myself in my 70s or 80s having to deal with that.

My own personal plan has always been to sell the house and invest some of that money but keep at least half aside somewhere safe if I want to buy a new place somewhere once done travelling . I might not be able to afford a HCOL area like I live in now but will have enough to buy a modest condo in a LCOL area for my old age.
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #201 on: January 22, 2017, 11:09:19 AM »
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.
You can have all that as a poor vagabond too. Just rent a shared space or room or tiny apt. In some places (even expensive countries) you can rent a room in a nice apt for a few hundred bucks a month and have all those luxuries. Cheaper than hostels and you can move on easily after a month or 2. When I did my 2 year trip I ended up doing apt shares for several months in several different countries MUCH cheaper than hostels or even paid campgrounds.  Or you can do like Arebelspy and housesit and live for free.

Any good websites to share, or pretty much just Airbnb?
workaway and helpX are sites that get you free lodging and food in exchange for about 20 hours of working/week for your host.
House sitting is also a possibility: https://www.nomador.com/
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gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #202 on: January 22, 2017, 12:46:19 PM »
workaway and helpX are sites that get you free lodging and food in exchange for about 20 hours of working/week for your host.
House sitting is also a possibility: https://www.nomador.com/

Sounds like a terrible deal. That's even lower than minimum wage.

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #203 on: January 23, 2017, 02:19:11 AM »
It depends how you look at it.
It is mostly young people using it so they look at it more as a summer job, but while traveling. Then I think hourly wages wise you are more or less in the same category.
However, I think Pete himself went to Hawaii to help a remodeling in exchange for free lodging. His hourly wage was probably pretty low on that project also, if you would calculate it but it is more about living with locals and sharing their life for a brief period. Skilled carpenters definitely have their pick of projects to choose from.
I do not think this kind of thing is about the best hourly wage but stretching the travel budget a bit further and having experiences along the way. Some travelers have had the opportunity to ‘work’ some really cool gigs. And if I would slow travel for a few months I would definitely see if there are any offerings that I find interesting (like working in a brewery). Once I achieve financial freedom I will still want to do stuff. Interesting will become a lot more important than hourly wage at that moment.
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jim555

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #204 on: January 23, 2017, 04:09:18 AM »
Technically working on a tourist visa is not allowed.  Keep things quiet if you do this.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #205 on: January 23, 2017, 04:24:36 AM »
Technically working on a tourist visa is not allowed.  Keep things quiet if you do this.

Yeah, you'd definitely want to look into visas where you can work.  Much more of a hassle, but obviously then you can legally work, plus they're usually for longer than a tourist visa.
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financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #206 on: January 23, 2017, 06:48:05 AM »
Since no money is changing hands and a lot of times it is only for 1 or 2 weeks this is often in a legal gray area. It is more like having friends over who will help you with a task. We have been hosts on workaway for two years (mainly help in the garden, as it is a big garden). Last was an American couple to help us out with a big BBQ we have for about 35 people. We finally wanted to have a change to actually spend time with our guests! They off course joined in on the barbeque and mingled with our friends.
So cleaning up the garden beforehand and then during the BBQ manning the grill and getting salads done. Many times, it is stuff like this. We have one or two big items we really like to have finished and then a few smaller ones that would be nice to have done. We could find a handyman to pay under the table and probably spend about the same amount of money as we are not exactly cheap on the food (or beers, we Belgians do have a reputation to uphold) we provide. We often plan visits to Gent and such while we have guests (so they have a free lift to visit that city) and then take them with us to a restaurant. So money wise it probably is not even the most frugal approach for us. However, we like having people from other countries visiting and I appreciate the help in the garden (everything is done so much faster with a bit of help!). We are selective in the guests we accept in our home and as a worker you should be selective in the hosts as well as one of our guests had one stay where she definitely was treated as cheap labour and did not enjoy her time there. But for young people without a stash it is most definitely a way to travel for longer on a small budget. And some stuff is just fun to do (on story is of a traveler who had the chance to work with pinguins!).
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Cookie78

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #207 on: January 23, 2017, 01:19:28 PM »
Since no money is changing hands and a lot of times it is only for 1 or 2 weeks this is often in a legal gray area. It is more like having friends over who will help you with a task. We have been hosts on workaway for two years (mainly help in the garden, as it is a big garden). Last was an American couple to help us out with a big BBQ we have for about 35 people. We finally wanted to have a change to actually spend time with our guests! They off course joined in on the barbeque and mingled with our friends.
So cleaning up the garden beforehand and then during the BBQ manning the grill and getting salads done. Many times, it is stuff like this. We have one or two big items we really like to have finished and then a few smaller ones that would be nice to have done. We could find a handyman to pay under the table and probably spend about the same amount of money as we are not exactly cheap on the food (or beers, we Belgians do have a reputation to uphold) we provide. We often plan visits to Gent and such while we have guests (so they have a free lift to visit that city) and then take them with us to a restaurant. So money wise it probably is not even the most frugal approach for us. However, we like having people from other countries visiting and I appreciate the help in the garden (everything is done so much faster with a bit of help!). We are selective in the guests we accept in our home and as a worker you should be selective in the hosts as well as one of our guests had one stay where she definitely was treated as cheap labour and did not enjoy her time there. But for young people without a stash it is most definitely a way to travel for longer on a small budget. And some stuff is just fun to do (on story is of a traveler who had the chance to work with pinguins!).

Ah! Maybe I should host a couple workers and get someone to help paint my house/fence!

Cookie78

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #208 on: January 23, 2017, 01:21:44 PM »
I hadn't planned to go back home (to NZ), but I hadn't planned to stay in China, either.  I was open to possibilities.  When I did come home after 15 months abroad, I was so ready to do so. I missed cooking my own meals - even when I was living in a city, I knew it wouldn't be for that long so I never invested in much cookware and could pretty much only cook the simplest of meals.  Living out of a backpack had gotten tiring - shortly after I returned to NZ, I purchased a soft toy/cushion thing and a large hairdryer and just relished the feeling of being able to buy things that were not essential but simply nice to have. 

I think you've highlighted the huge difference between traveling for a long time when you're 26 and poor, and traveling long term after you've FIRE'd.  All of the problems you've mentioned above are easily solved with some extra money.  Rent a place with a kitchen.  Buy that cookware that's missing.  Buy that hairdryer.  You can even leave it behind when you move, and then re-purchase as needed at the next stop.  Then you get the best of both worlds.

Yeah, we're really getting into semantics now. When does it stop being 'travel' and just become moving to another country. If you live a year in 10 different countries over a decade, I don't know if I'd call that 'travel'.

I think I would. I'd call it slow travel.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #209 on: January 23, 2017, 03:35:47 PM »
I have 3 kids and when one was in HS and one in junior high we needed to move for a job. The other one was in college so it didn't affect him. It really hurt my other 2, they did not adjust well, etc.  I have a friend whose Dad decided after he got out of the military that he wanted to move a lot. So they moved all over the US from 2nd grade until 10th. Usually a new school every year but some years twice. Even though she had a very loving family it negatively affected her too.  She was always the new kid, would get bullied, sometimes she was the only blue eyed blonde kid in a sea of kids with dark hair/complexions, etc.  Now in her 50's she has issues that still stem from that experience. She is not mad at her parents but growing up was not a good experience due to all the moving. I think traveling before your kids are in school would be a much better option as they are not rooted yet to friends, school, etc.  Now I know that some kids would adjust fine to traveling when older but I just wanted to throw out the other side of the issue for consideration.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #210 on: January 24, 2017, 10:04:26 PM »
I'm glad you've had luck with Craigslist.  I imagine just doing due diligence on some of those listings can be a full time job!  I guess as long as you aren't sending money beforehand, you can weed out some of the more obvious scammers.  Airbnb does look a little more expensive in some places, and the automatic cancellations messages bother me, but it seems like there is a little more protection against easy fraud.

Thankfully, so far we've had no bad experiences, and it hasn't too hard to root out obvious scams.
For a place from Craigslist, we never send money until we've seen it in person and met the person renting it. That eliminates almost all the scams.

I think we've only done this for short/medium term rentals twice so far (once for two weeks, currently for six weeks), and it's worked out well. It's helped that we've been flexible: We had another kind of accommodation for the few days/weeks when we first arrived (be that AirBnB, hotels, RV park, etc). Check out places we might like to stay longer if available. If nothing works out, keep moving on. We are flexible.
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Metric Mouse

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #211 on: January 24, 2017, 11:28:45 PM »
I think I would. I'd call it slow travel.

Very slow...
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nara

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #212 on: February 17, 2017, 07:31:54 PM »
This is part of our future plans as well. A few years ago though we worked as English teachers in Korea so we could travel. Our airfare and housing was paid for and we financed our travels through Asia with the money we made from our teaching job. We traveled to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, and Nepal.

Traveling was so exciting but after a few months we experienced a lot of travel fatigue. If you are traveling in poorer countries, you will be haggled relentlessly and people will always be looking to scam you. It became exhausting trying to connect with locals when they all had a "my sick uncle" type of sob story.. Plus not to mention the sicknesses we experienced: sickness from the bacteria in the food, sickness from malaria pills, altitude sickness, heat stroke, etc. We were sick for weeks at a time. Traveling is not that glamorous. But if you can afford to live in a wealthier country, with a large westerner community, and can stay put there for a long time and really allow it to feel like home--that is a much better experience than moving around constantly. We came home from teaching and our travels still with extra money in our pockets!

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #213 on: February 18, 2017, 04:59:13 PM »
If you are traveling in poorer countries, you will be haggled relentlessly and people will always be looking to scam you. It became exhausting trying to connect with locals when they all had a "my sick uncle" type of sob story..

Plus not to mention the sicknesses we experienced: sickness from the bacteria in the food, sickness from malaria pills, altitude sickness, heat stroke, etc. We were sick for weeks at a time.

What unfortunate experiences.  =/

We have yet to experience either of these two things.
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EndlessJourney

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #214 on: February 18, 2017, 08:24:36 PM »
Traveling was so exciting but after a few months we experienced a lot of travel fatigue. If you are traveling in poorer countries, you will be haggled relentlessly and people will always be looking to scam you. It became exhausting trying to connect with locals when they all had a "my sick uncle" type of sob story..

It depends on where you are meeting these locals. If they're just approaching you on the street, then yes, I can see that most would be panhandlers.

We've recovered from our Travel Fatigue in many places around the world. We typically travel for 6-9 months straight and then pause for a break for 1-3 months. In each place we've stopped, we've managed to hook up with locals from our own socio-economic background. The trick is to join clubs or events that you have something in common with.

One of our first experiences was with a Spanish immersion homestay in La Paz, Mexico. Our hosts were well-to-do people, very well-traveled and lots in common to talk about, but they were a bit older. I spent all my time with their grandson playing guitar and hanging out with him and his girlfriend at their K-Pop dance studio (Korean Pop is huge in Mexico!)

In Costa Rica, a fellow motorcyclist invited us to stay with him and his family. It turned out he was in the same profession as I was, so we talked shop alot. One evening, we were watching football on TV. When CR beat Mexico in one of the games (pretty much all the countries in Latin America hate Mexico because they're so good in football), we spilled out into the streets honking our horns and celebrating with everyone.

Then on another break, we spent two months in Medellin, Colombia, so my wife joined an AcroYoga club that met in the local park several times a week. There we were able to meet a lot of locals that we hung around with after, had them over for dinner at our apartment, etc.

We've stayed in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a couple of seasons now (over six months in total) and whenever we're there we've joined hiking clubs, photography clubs, yoga. Thai is a difficult language to learn, but professional people that have the income and free time to pursue these interests most often speak English as well.

Just because a country may be poor as a whole doesn't mean that there aren't people of similar backgrounds as you living there. You just have to go to the right places to meet them.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 08:38:04 PM by EndlessJourney »
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EndlessJourney

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #215 on: February 18, 2017, 08:57:29 PM »
As for getting sick from the food, I think that's just a part of traveling and moving constantly. You're forced to eat in restaurants or stalls that you have no control over the food prep. We've learned certain things you can do to mitigate food poisoning, things like:

- always eat where there are a lot of locals dining. They must know something, and also the turnover is frequent so the food/ingredients don't sit out as long
- expensive western-style restaurants don't always mean safer
- avoid anything fresh, always cooked. Deep fried is better. Also tastier... :)

Our worst stories come from India and Mexico. There's a reason why they call it Delhi Belly, the Aztec Two-Step and Montezuma's Revenge...

However, if you are staying for longer periods and have your own apartment or access to a kitchen, you can be a bit more diligent about cleaning the ingredients and properly cooking them. There's an anti-bacterial spray you can get for fruits and vegetables. We also cook with bottled water. We rarely get sick when we eat in.
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #216 on: February 19, 2017, 07:54:39 PM »
I noticed in some countries that the meat section in the grocery store wasn't really what I would call up to USA standards.

The employees did not wear any gloves while handing out the cuts of meat and the cases where the meat was kept were not that cold (possibly below 40 F though).   

We bought some steaks and I cooked the hell out of them, well well done.   Seemed ok.

Can't go too wrong with rice and beans in those type places.

spartana

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #217 on: February 19, 2017, 11:55:34 PM »
I do get "travel fatigue" in some third world countries. I find it especially draining and heartbreaking in some places to see the poverty, the masses of  children begging,,homelessness, and starving dogs. Even the level of untreated physical disabilities can be astounding. While I do find it extremely humbling and it gives me a greater perspective of thevwirkd and a desire to "do more...do anything" to help, it can be emotionally draining. 
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #218 on: February 20, 2017, 04:24:10 AM »
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

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arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #219 on: February 20, 2017, 05:09:45 AM »
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

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Three months sounds about 12x slower than most people go.  :)
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #220 on: February 20, 2017, 05:14:14 AM »
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

There are other types of visas besides a tourist visa.

Some countries have retirement visas or business visas. Sometimes the only requirements are minimum age and financial solvency. In Thailand, if you're 50+ and have 20K in the bank, you can apply for a 1-year retirement visa. In Russia, the 1-year Multiple Entry business visa is just more expensive than the Single Entry Tourist Visa. They don't do any rigorous checking over and above the tourist visa about the nature of your business.

Having said that, we've met a lot of ex-pats who have lived in their new country for years doing visa runs on a Tourist Visa. In Panama, we met a family of four who had to drive to the Costa Rican border every 60 or 90 days depending on whether their tourist visa or vehicle permit was expiring. They've been doing that for 15 years!

In Thailand, the visa run is a time-honoured tradition amongst ex-pats. There are whole industries dedicated to getting farangs (foreigners) out and back into the country in as little time and fuss as possible.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 05:17:13 AM by EndlessJourney »
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #221 on: February 20, 2017, 07:04:24 AM »
One thing that tends to drive slow travel is visa limits. The vast majority of countries have a maximum stay if 90 days. Leaving the country just to reset (if allowed) is a lot more of a PITA than you might think. Gets old quick, even in Mexico with it's very lenient 180 day visa.

There are other types of visas besides a tourist visa.

Some countries have retirement visas or business visas. Sometimes the only requirements are minimum age and financial solvency. In Thailand, if you're 50+ and have 20K in the bank, you can apply for a 1-year retirement visa. In Russia, the 1-year Multiple Entry business visa is just more expensive than the Single Entry Tourist Visa. They don't do any rigorous checking over and above the tourist visa about the nature of your business.

Having said that, we've met a lot of ex-pats who have lived in their new country for years doing visa runs on a Tourist Visa. In Panama, we met a family of four who had to drive to the Costa Rican border every 60 or 90 days depending on whether their tourist visa or vehicle permit was expiring. They've been doing that for 15 years!

In Thailand, the visa run is a time-honoured tradition amongst ex-pats. There are whole industries dedicated to getting farangs (foreigners) out and back into the country in as little time and fuss as possible.

Even the retirement visa in Thailand is a PITA. You still have to present yourself to immigration every 90 days (though you can do so through via mail or an agent, but it's just one more cost). If you want to leave the country on a trip, you need to go down to immigration to apply for a reentry permit or they'll cancel your retirement visa. Plus the ongoing costs with yearly renewals, etc. Visa issues are no doubt one of the biggest headaches to deal with for slow travel. It's not so bad when you're starting off...you probably want to make visa runs to visit other countries anyways. But I could see where eventually you just get sick of it and want to go back home at some point. I can see myself waking up in a cold sweat thinking about my immigration issues the same way I do now wondering if my car is parked in a street sweeping zone (I don't own a car any longer). The easiest country by far is probably the Philippines where I think you can stay like 3 years on 6 month tourist visa extensions at which point a visa run to reset the clock is required. After that, some Central and South American countries (Belize, Panama, Ecuador) are specifically geared towards US retirees and you can even apply for citizenship after a time. But for all the retirement visas, I think you need to be at least 50 (35 in the Philippines) which makes it a bit of a ways off for early retirees.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #222 on: February 24, 2017, 06:20:34 PM »
I do get "travel fatigue" in some third world countries. I find it especially draining and heartbreaking in some places to see the poverty, the masses of  children begging,,homelessness, and starving dogs. Even the level of untreated physical disabilities can be astounding. While I do find it extremely humbling and it gives me a greater perspective of thevwirkd and a desire to "do more...do anything" to help, it can be emotionally draining.
Ugh. Me too. I feel the same way. Still haven't recharged from my last slow travel trip through some of these parts of the world. While it has greatly broadened my perspective on what is 'enough' to live on, I strongly feel the drain you speak of. It has lead me to focus on making my own small part of the world better in the ways I can; doesn't help many people, or even maybe those most in need, but I have decided to focus on my sphere of control.

I very much appreciate the fact that I had to resources to leave those areas at anytime I wished. So greatful for everything I have.
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jim555

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #223 on: February 25, 2017, 06:53:37 AM »
Based on the latest ACA proposals it looks like three years then Medicaid is gone.  For me it is just before I turn 55.  I need to sell my place and go into travel mode from 55-65, then I can come back to get Medicare.  It is something I have been pondering for a while anyway.  So summers in England and winters in Thailand?

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #224 on: February 25, 2017, 12:45:23 PM »
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

pudding

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #225 on: February 25, 2017, 01:42:55 PM »
I do get "travel fatigue" in some third world countries. I find it especially draining and heartbreaking in some places to see the poverty, the masses of  children begging,,homelessness, and starving dogs. Even the level of untreated physical disabilities can be astounding. While I do find it extremely humbling and it gives me a greater perspective of thevwirkd and a desire to "do more...do anything" to help, it can be emotionally draining.

It got to me the same way too.

At first it was all a novelty and a tendency to see it as exotic and even to look down on my home country and its 'uptight' ways and laws.

Next I started to notice that some of the things seemed irritating.. like why don't the local people do something about the broken in half cast iron drain cover  on the sidewalk that anyone could fall through?  and a month later still nothing done, actually there was 'something' someone had put a tree branch in it as a 'warning'  and why leave the condiments out in the full sun and ants crawling all over them? and the towel in the restaurant restroom, why does it smell like shit.. literally.

Then it just became like that I didn't really like my own thoughts....  gangs of 9 and 10 year old kids with no clothes or maybe a pair of ancient filthy shorts on covered in dirt and sniffing glue at 2am in the street in full view of everyone.... and no one doing anything about it, not the cops not anyone...   and I'd find myself thinking the people here are retarded and get what they actually create themselves...

And then I came back to my home country and heard sjw's saying that x% of the children in my country live in child poverty... and thought to myself nahhh... sorry but they don't, you got to get out more often.

Then someone saying "well you know they don't have money there, so they smash their children's ankle's so that they can make money begging" like it's a quaint local custom that you'd better not question for fear of being called a racist.


arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #226 on: February 25, 2017, 02:12:28 PM »
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

I would 100% agree, normally.

I've often argued that people who plan a FIRE budget for overseas can go there, find they don't like it, yet are "stuck" because they can't support a budget back home.  I was wary of this, and built our ER budget so we could go home, even though we like to travel.

The only tiny part where I disagree (and now am disagreeing with my past self) is the nature of why he may not be able to come back.

It either shows he didn't save enough OR it shows how * the US healthcare system is.

Here was his comment:
Quote
Based on the latest ACA proposals it looks like three years then Medicaid is gone.  For me it is just before I turn 55.  I need to sell my place and go into travel mode from 55-65, then I can come back to get Medicare.  It is something I have been pondering for a while anyway.

If he has enough right now to live in the US, pay for some healthcare, and all his other expenses, then we revert to no-ACA, and he can't afford it for a few years, but then can afford it again as medicare kicks in, well, maybe he didn't save enough, or maybe our backwards healthcare system is to blame.  =/
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #227 on: February 25, 2017, 02:21:06 PM »
WE were in Thailand in Nov and it was 90 with a ton of humidity.  Maybe other parts of it are cooler?  I find the countries in Central America to get depressing so would not want to live there even for a short time. They are fun to visit but the poverty is so sad. I knew a few people that did what ARS was talking about and got stuck due to LCOL and they wanted to come home.  One woman had to do a go fund me for the plane ticket and then stay with a friend when she got here and she was 70. Repealing the ACA would be a terrible injustice but the current admin does not care about the American people at all. Ugh!

dixonge

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #228 on: February 25, 2017, 02:55:19 PM »
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.
Sure you do. It's correct for your target country.

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gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #229 on: February 25, 2017, 04:16:57 PM »
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

Sorry, but that's just stupid. What if you want to live abroad? That's like saying "your stash is insufficient if it can't sustain you in a HCOL area". Maybe you don't want to live in a HCOL area.

arebelspy

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #230 on: February 25, 2017, 04:40:36 PM »
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

Sorry, but that's just stupid. What if you want to live abroad? That's like saying "your stash is insufficient if it can't sustain you in a HCOL area". Maybe you don't want to live in a HCOL area.
Foreign countries are just such a different paradigm.

If you've spent significant time there, cool.

If not, I'd go try it out and/or have backup plans.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #231 on: February 25, 2017, 05:02:56 PM »
I could start my pension at 55 which would cover the health insurance.  Don't want to take it so early, taking it at 62-65 would be much better.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #232 on: February 25, 2017, 05:28:35 PM »
The key word was NEED - not want or anything else. If you NEED to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

If you want to go to foreign shores - by all means do so, but it is advisable to have enough so you can retire where you want to, not where you need to. As stated by others, you may need to come back.

My parents needed me to visit them very regularly form just after I retired. I may have wanted to retire to foreign shores, but that wouldn't have worked out. Families may need to be in their country of origin for the school years...

The other thing is that if your money is in your own currency, you may have problems in foreign shores. For many years, the English would retire to Spain, because it was cheap, and their retirement pensions bought mansions rather than cottages (and the life that went with it). Unfortunately for them, the Spanish currency became much better, and the pound declined in relative value. THIS COULD HAPPEN IN ANY UNDER DEVELOPED FOREIGN COUNTRY. Suddenly, they could not maintain their lifestyle. There have been a number of documentaries on this particular retirement problem. The south east Asian countries are all developing quite fast, and it could happen to you in the next 10 years if you count on their relative cheapness to get you through your FIRE lifestyle.

dixonge

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #233 on: February 25, 2017, 07:12:01 PM »
The key word was NEED - not want or anything else. If you NEED to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

If you want to go to foreign shores - by all means do so, but it is advisable to have enough so you can retire where you want to, not where you need to. As stated by others, you may need to come back.

My parents needed me to visit them very regularly form just after I retired. I may have wanted to retire to foreign shores, but that wouldn't have worked out. Families may need to be in their country of origin for the school years...

The other thing is that if your money is in your own currency, you may have problems in foreign shores. For many years, the English would retire to Spain, because it was cheap, and their retirement pensions bought mansions rather than cottages (and the life that went with it). Unfortunately for them, the Spanish currency became much better, and the pound declined in relative value. THIS COULD HAPPEN IN ANY UNDER DEVELOPED FOREIGN COUNTRY. Suddenly, they could not maintain their lifestyle. There have been a number of documentaries on this particular retirement problem. The south east Asian countries are all developing quite fast, and it could happen to you in the next 10 years if you count on their relative cheapness to get you through your FIRE lifestyle.
But I do have the correct stash *there*. And *there* could be another country, or just another state, or another region, or another city.

Also, I *need* SS and my pension to not decline or go under. And I *need* inflation to stay under 5%. Do all of these other *needs* mean that I don't have the correct stash? Or maybe all of them are just variables to be accounted for as best I can. Maybe?

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #234 on: February 26, 2017, 07:18:38 PM »
I do get "travel fatigue" in some third world countries. I find it especially draining and heartbreaking in some places to see the poverty, the masses of  children begging,,homelessness, and starving dogs. Even the level of untreated physical disabilities can be astounding. While I do find it extremely humbling and it gives me a greater perspective of thevwirkd and a desire to "do more...do anything" to help, it can be emotionally draining.

It got to me the same way too.

At first it was all a novelty and a tendency to see it as exotic and even to look down on my home country and its 'uptight' ways and laws.

Next I started to notice that some of the things seemed irritating.. like why don't the local people do something about the broken in half cast iron drain cover  on the sidewalk that anyone could fall through?  and a month later still nothing done, actually there was 'something' someone had put a tree branch in it as a 'warning'  and why leave the condiments out in the full sun and ants crawling all over them? and the towel in the restaurant restroom, why does it smell like shit.. literally.

Then it just became like that I didn't really like my own thoughts....  gangs of 9 and 10 year old kids with no clothes or maybe a pair of ancient filthy shorts on covered in dirt and sniffing glue at 2am in the street in full view of everyone.... and no one doing anything about it, not the cops not anyone...   and I'd find myself thinking the people here are retarded and get what they actually create themselves...

And then I came back to my home country and heard sjw's saying that x% of the children in my country live in child poverty... and thought to myself nahhh... sorry but they don't, you got to get out more often.

Then someone saying "well you know they don't have money there, so they smash their children's ankle's so that they can make money begging" like it's a quaint local custom that you'd better not question for fear of being called a racist.
Ugh. Depressing, but so true.
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dougules

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #235 on: February 27, 2017, 10:28:38 AM »
If you need to go to foreign shores to FIRE, you actually don't have the correct stash to maintain your lifestyle.

Sorry, but that's just stupid. What if you want to live abroad? That's like saying "your stash is insufficient if it can't sustain you in a HCOL area". Maybe you don't want to live in a HCOL area.
Foreign countries are just such a different paradigm.

If you've spent significant time there, cool.

If not, I'd go try it out and/or have backup plans.

True, although I'd say you could also say the same for different regions.  My husband is from PA, and he still has occasional culture shock with how people think a little differently in AL.  Yes it's more when you cross a border, but anybody that moves even within their own country should make sure they're going to be happy in their new location or have the means to go back. 

gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #236 on: February 27, 2017, 07:13:49 PM »
And everyone who reduces expenses by trading their truck for a bicycle or filet mignon for rice & beans should make sure they have a big enough stash, in case they want to go back. Oh wait...

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #237 on: February 28, 2017, 03:28:23 AM »
And everyone who reduces expenses by trading their truck for a bicycle or filet mignon for rice & beans should make sure they have a big enough stash, in case they want to go back. Oh wait...

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #238 on: February 28, 2017, 07:46:24 AM »
I see a lot of concern about coming back if it doesn't work out.  As long as you have some money it shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Just fly into state X and do AirBnB for a month till you can get a rental.  From there buy a car and a place, if you want.  Expensive mistake but not FIRE ending.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #239 on: February 28, 2017, 10:39:11 AM »
I see a lot of concern about coming back if it doesn't work out.  As long as you have some money it shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Just fly into state X and do AirBnB for a month till you can get a rental.  From there buy a car and a place, if you want.  Expensive mistake but not FIRE ending.
I think the issue isn't the logistics of coming back but the income needed to live in a HCOL country or area if your FIRE income doesn't support it.

  If you can only fund a retirement plan to live in a LCOL country or area (or in a van down by the river) and end up hating it you might not be able to live at that same $$ level back in your home country without it eating into too much of your stash. If I retire with enough to live in a very low cost area of Mexico (or a van down by the river) where I have enough money to live there but not enough to live in the US - especially in a HCOL place like I do now - I wouldn't be able to remain retired if I ever wanted to come back here. Not a problem if you are OK going back to work (and are still young and healthy enough) but a big problem if you want to remain retired.

While I agree thats not enough reason to NOT retire asap if you're flexible or pretty sure you won't ever change your mind about where or how you live, I do think its a good reason to have a back up plan and income (or getting a job if needed) if you aren't sure it'll work out for you. .
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 10:44:49 AM by spartana »
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dougules

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #240 on: February 28, 2017, 10:51:59 AM »
I see a lot of concern about coming back if it doesn't work out.  As long as you have some money it shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Just fly into state X and do AirBnB for a month till you can get a rental.  From there buy a car and a place, if you want.  Expensive mistake but not FIRE ending.
I think the issue isn't the logistics of coming back but the income needed to live in a HCOL country or area if your FIRE income doesn't support it.

  If you can only fund a retirement plan to live in a LCOL country or area (or in a van down by the river) and end up hating it you might not be able to live at that same $$ level back in your home country without it eating into too much of your stash. If I retire with enough to live in a very low cost area of Mexico (or a van down by the river) where I have enough money to live there but not enough to live in the US - especially in a HCOL place like I do now - I wouldn't be able to remain retired if I ever wanted to come back here. Not a problem if you are OK going back to work (and are still young and healthy enough) but a big problem if you want to remain retired.

While I agree thats not enough reason to NOT retire asap if you're flexible or pretty sure you won't ever change your mind about where or how you live, I do think its a good reason to have a back up plan and income (or getting a job if needed) if you aren't sure it'll work out for you. .

+1

Location can have a lot bigger impact on your happiness than things.

Also, location isn't really something a lot of people can test out before they FIRE.  Truck for bicycle or filet mignon for rice & beans are something easy to figure out before you hit the big red eject button. 

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #241 on: February 28, 2017, 10:56:34 AM »
I am in a HCOL now.  I was planning on going to a LCOL area eventually anyway.  I see your point.  The great thing about FIREing is location is no longer that important since income is not related to a job.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #242 on: February 28, 2017, 11:24:52 AM »
I am in a HCOL now.  I was planning on going to a LCOL area eventually anyway.  I see your point.  The great thing about FIREing is location is no longer that important since income is not related to a job.
I agree and I personally believe most people can live fairly inexpensively even in higher COL areas so even if they wanted to come back to their home country/area its probably very doable and they can remain FIREd. But it may be really bare bones and involve having to rent a room or studio apt or forgoing medical insurance, car, travel or other things. A FIRE budget of $1k/month in a LCOL area of Mexico will probably look a lot different than a $1k/month FIRE budget in the US.
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #243 on: February 28, 2017, 03:17:09 PM »
Spartana, I completely agree. Also sometimes location is really important for happiness. I have moved a lot but absolutely love where we are at now. Even though where we live is not as expensive as where you live 2 of my boys live in Wichita, KS and I am always amazed at how cheap everything there is. In fact I will be flying there twice in a few months time for dental work because it is about a fourth of the cost and I need some expensive work done.  Now if we moved there with our 65k income we would be much better off financially then we are now. But we have such great friends here and I love the beauty of the area and the weather. Life is a trade-off.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #244 on: February 28, 2017, 05:07:24 PM »
I think deborah's point,while perhaps a bit harshly stated, does have merit. As somebody who plans to live abroad for a significant portion of FIRE, I think the allure of living overseas is more so you can live like a baller on what's otherwise a modest sum here in the US. Secondarily the fact that you could significantly cut expenses in an emergency is also an attractive factor. What you really don't want to be doing is living poor in a 3rd world country...there is a certain argument to be made that you threw away the silver spoon you were born with here in the West. And you really do need to be able to come back to the West at some point...there's a good chance you don't want to spend your doddering years overseas. Places like Thailand are full of bitter old pensioners who can barely survive in Chang Mai.

For me, the solution has to been to target what I think a moderate FIRE income in a low cost of living area here in the US looks like. I plan to live large on that same income overseas.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #245 on: February 28, 2017, 05:31:13 PM »
I think deborah's point,while perhaps a bit harshly stated, does have merit. As somebody who plans to live abroad for a significant portion of FIRE, I think the allure of living overseas is more so you can live like a baller on what's otherwise a modest sum here in the US. Secondarily the fact that you could significantly cut expenses in an emergency is also an attractive factor. What you really don't want to be doing is living poor in a 3rd world country...there is a certain argument to be made that you threw away the silver spoon you were born with here in the West. And you really do need to be able to come back to the West at some point...there's a good chance you don't want to spend your doddering years overseas. Places like Thailand are full of bitter old pensioners who can barely survive in Chang Mai.

For me, the solution has to been to target what I think a moderate FIRE income in a low cost of living area here in the US looks like. I plan to live large on that same income overseas.
Yeah, our plan involves saving 50% of pension/SS income. Eventually we will have a nest egg capable of replacing the SS, or pension, if needed. Plus we *love* expat life. The LCOL aspect is just icing.

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gerardc

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #246 on: February 28, 2017, 08:44:47 PM »
LCOL country for a few years makes a lot of sense:
- Culture fun as hell
- Live big for half the price
- Withdraw < 4% so your stash likely still grows

Then you come back in later years with more (real) money than when you started. Agreed that leaving for Mexico with $300k fully retired is kinda dumb...

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #247 on: February 28, 2017, 08:55:26 PM »
You see a lot of guys going to Thailand without a proper stasche, don't budget right, and getting stuck.  You never want to go to a place like that without proper funding.

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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #248 on: March 01, 2017, 07:41:43 AM »
You see a lot of guys going to Thailand without a proper stasche, don't budget right, and getting stuck.  You never want to go to a place like that without proper funding.

You see quite a bit of that in Hawaii too!
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Re: Sell everything and become a Permanent Traveler?
« Reply #249 on: March 04, 2017, 07:32:47 PM »
You see a lot of guys going to Thailand without a proper stasche, don't budget right, and getting stuck.  You never want to go to a place like that without proper funding.

You see quite a bit of that in Hawaii too!
What a terrible place to be stuck... :)
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